What is a Nuffield Research Placement?

Summer holidays after Year 12 (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) or S5 (Scotland).
How long?
4 - 6 weeks in total. This inc. independent study ahead of 2-3 weeks for the real-world placement collaboration activities.
A well-supervised but independent placement relating to an area of science, quantitative social science, computing, technology, engineering or maths - or a combination!
Students can take part in a placement at no cost. Travel costs are reimbursed and students may be eligible to receive a £200 bursary.
Placements take place in a variety of locations including offices, museums, research centres, laboratories or fieldwork settings*.


*Due to the impact of COVID-19 and Government guidance, and subject to the limitations of the placement provider organisation, the real-world research collaboration with a placement provider may not be able to go ahead on-site. In the event that on-site research is not possible, this activity will continue online instead.

You can also download our programme guide for students to find out more.

 Programme guide for students

Spend part of your summer expanding your career prospects by undertaking a short project that will:

  • Develop your subject understanding alongside research and quantitative skills

  • Help you learn more about higher education and different career paths

  • Enhance your UCAS personal statements and applications to university

  • Lead to applications for a Gold CREST Award or the Big Bang Competition

“I have gained irreplaceable knowledge, I have made connections with multiple academics in a top Russell Group university. It has been a journey in independence, in expanding my ability to learn new things. I was unsure about doing the placement before but I am glad I did it because it has changed my life for the better.” Nuffield Research Placement alumni

To find out more about our alumni, please visit our relevant webpage.   Alumni Network page 


Check your eligibility and apply now

We strongly recommend that students check whether you meet our entry requirements using our eligibility tool and read our guide for applicants before completing an application. 
 Applicant guide for students 

If you've checked your eligibility and are ready to apply, please visit our application website.   Application website 

Programme timetable 

  •   winter

    The Nuffield Research Placements programme opens for applications from students.

    Students should check their eligibility via our online tool, read our guide and approach a teacher to request a reference.

  •    SPRING

    Applications close and students are informed by their regional coordinator if they have been shortlisted and will go through to be matched to a placement or if they are unsuccessful.

    Deadlines will vary by region, you can find out more here.


    Students begin work on their pre-placement independent study assignments.

    They will also contact their placement provider before undertaking the research or development collaboration with a knowledge expert.


    Students submit their finished work inc. a final report, poster and feedback form.

    They then receive their certificate of participation to use in future UCAS applications and they are invited to a celebration event.


Find your regional coordinator

For any help, questions or concerns you have, please contact your Regional Coordinator. They will be happy to hear from you and answer any of your queries. Their contact details are below depending on what region your school/college or organisation is in.

  • East Midlands

    • Stacy Munday
      East Midlands Regional Coordinator

      0116 240 7000

      Leicestershire Education Business Company, 30 Frog Island, Off North Bridge Place, Leicester, LE3 5AG
      DEADLINE: 7th April 2021
      Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Rutland & Lincolnshire

  • London and the East

    • Sally Moore
      London and the East Regional Coordinator

      01438 755 075

      STEMPOINT East at MBDA, PO Box 19, PB 211, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, SG1 2DA

      DEADLINE: 14th April 2021
      Counties: Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Greater London, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire

  • North East England

    • Andrew Stogdale
      North East England Regional Coordinator


      Spark Aspirations Tees Valley Ltd, 9 Tarr Steps, Ingleby Barwick, TS17 0NG

      DEADLINE: 7th April 2021
      Northumberland, Tyne and Wear & Durham


  • North West England

    • Helen McCann
      North West England Regional Coordinator

      07821 156 958

      All About STEM, Studio B, Digital House, 44 Simpson Street, Liverpool L1 0AX

      DEADLINE: 31st March 2021
      Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside & Cheshire

  • Northern Ireland

    • Ciaran Lynch
      Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator

      028 9262 7755

      SENTINUS, 19a Ballinderry Road, Lisburn, BT28 2SA

      DEADLINE: 22nd April 2021
      Counties: All within Northern Ireland


  • Scotland

    • Jennifer Smith
      Scotland Regional Coordinator

      01382 308 455

      Outreach and Public Engagement Office, Graduate School, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, DD1 1HG
      DEADLINE: 31st March 2021
      unties: All within Scotland

  • South East England

    • Lydia Ahern
      South East England Regional Coordinator


      STEM Outreach Coordinator, Sussex STEM, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1UE

      DEADLINE: 7th April 2021
      Kent, East Sussex, West Susses & Hampshire

  • South West England

    • Janine Bisson
      South West England Regional Coordinator

      01872 224 397

      Cornwall Education Business Partnership, Cornwall Council, 2N Chy Trevail, Dunmere Road, Bodmin, PL31 2FX
      DEADLINE: 22nd April 2021
      Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Dorset & Cornwall

  • Wales

    • Andrea Meyrick
      Wales Regional Coordinator

      029 2047 5475

      Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW

      DEADLINE: 22nd April 2021
      unties: All within Wales

  • West Midlands

    • Farzana Aslam or Clare Everson
      West Midlands Regional Coordinator

      0247 765 8569

      Coventry University, Engineering and Computing Building, Coventry, CV1 5FB
      DEADLINE: 17th March 2021
      West Midlands, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire & Worcestershire

  • Yorkshire and Humberside

    • Paula Symonds
      Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Coordinator

      01246 212 535

      Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, Commerce House, Millennium Way, Chesterfield, S41 8ND
      DEADLINE: 21st April 2021
      All Yorkshire territories inc. Humberside​  

Commonly asked questions

What type of placement can I do?
We offer a wide range of projects from traditional science projects (lab and field work) to ambitious social science projects (using data science to investigate big political and social issues). Different projects will have very different content, but they will all provide you with experience of scientific research – formulating a question and using scientific methods to investigate it. Not all science is done in the lab.*
  • *Due to the impact of COVID-19 and Government guidance, and subject to the limitations of the placement host organisation, the real-world research collaboration with a Project Supervisor may not be able to go ahead on-site. In the event that on-site research is not possible, this activity will continue online instead.

If I go to an independent fee-paying school but I fulfil other criteria can I still apply?
Unfortunately not. Nuffield Research Placements are for young people in full-time education in maintained schools and further education colleges in the UK. If you are unsure whether your school is state or privately-funded, please contact your regional coordinator.
What does "first in family" mean?
You are “first in family” if your parents/carers did not attend University or Higher Education (including institutions outside the UK). Even if your siblings have attended, you are still eligible to apply.
I don’t know what my household income is – can I still apply?
Firstly, ask your parents/carers to check your eligibility online. If you are eligible, your parents/carers will need to complete a form that provides evidence of their income.
Will I need to provide evidence of my eligibility?
Yes - we require applicants to provide evidence of all the eligibility criteria they meet. Your coordinator will advise you on what type of evidence to provide.
If I meet the eligibility criteria am I guaranteed a placement?
We receive many more applications than we have placements so unfortunately we cannot guarantee a placement for all eligible students. You will have the best chance of success if you are willing to consider a broad range of placements, including those outside your primary interest or university focus. Whatever your placement, you will still benefit enormously.
Can I still apply if I am not available for the whole of the summer holidays?
At the time of applying, you must be sure that you are available for at least 2-3 weeks of your summer holidays for the project collaboration. Most project collaborations require the 2-3 weeks to be consecutive (in a row), so if you are going on holiday in the middle of the summer this may affect your chances of finding a placement. It’s best to check with your regional coordinator however, as a placement might still be possible.
What support will I receive?
Your regional coordinator will support you throughout the process and will be available to answer any questions. Once you have started your placement, you will also have a placement supervisor who will oversee your work. There may also be other Nuffield students working in the department alongside you. Whatever your circumstances, there will always be someone there to help and answer your questions.
What happens if I am shortlisted?
This means your regional coordinator is attempting to match you with a placement. It does not mean that a placement is guaranteed, but it does mean that your application was of a high standard. You will hear from your regional coordinator if you are shortlisted at which point you can discuss the types of projects that may be suitable for you. Your chances of success are increased if you are willing to consider a range of different projects.
Will I get paid to do a Nuffield Research Placement?
We do not pay students, however you will not be out of pocket at the end of your placement as we reimburse your travel costs and some students will also receive a bursary of £200 for the project collaboration portion of your placement. You will be eligible for a bursary if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • You are living, or have lived in, local authority care.
  • Come from a family with a combined household income of below £30,000 a year.
  • You are entitled to free school meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.
  • In receipt of, or entitled to, discretionary payments at school/college (e.g., EMA, 16-19 Bursary Fund).